Edited by Massimo Cerruti and Stavroula Tsiplakou
[Studies in Language Variation 24] 2020
► pp. 183–201
The study of the changes that are taking place in European dialects reveals the existence of opposing tendencies: convergent, leading to homogenisation, and divergent, promoting diversity. This paper aims to analyse a case of dialect divergence in a speech community in the Canary Islands through the study of a series of linguistic and social factors that constrain the alternation between two phonetic forms: the lax and tense variants of the plosive palatal /c/, lax /c/ being the traditional form and tense /c/ being the innovative variant. The new form, [cʃ], can be considered as an interdialectal or hybrid variant, since it contains features from the corresponding standard form, /tʃ/, and the vernacular one, /c/. The analysis of sociolinguistic factors enables a more precise understanding of the way in which the hybrid variant contributes to delaying the language homogenisation observed in other levels of the dialect.